VISUAL EF9ECTS | Architecture and the Chess Game of Form & Story
BY JEF7REY HILDNER
PUBLISHED BY THE ARCHITECT PAINTER PRESS, SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA
COPYRIGHT © 2018 BY JEF 7REY HILDNER
VISUAL EF9ECTS Manifesto:
1. “Architecture is a chess game of Form & Story waged on the battlefield of a building and its site,” I proclaim as the anthem of this book. The White Army of Form cries, “Architecture is the stage set for the drama of life.” The Black Army of Story cries, “Architecture is a story told through a building.” The armies of Form & Story fight the war of art. They fight for our mind and soul and heart.
2. A great building presents more than the spellbinding production values of a Tesla. More than a breathtaking expression of the aesthetics of materials, space, and light—more than a stunning display of Abstract Form.
3. Like architecture since the dawn of time, a great building tells a Symbolic Story.
4. I picture Form & Story as two sides of the same coin: a Silver Coin. A great building trades in both sides of the Silver Coin of Art.
5. In Visual Ef9ects, I turns to the cinematic metaphor of chess to bring the dynamic relationship between Form & Story to life. The metaphor of chess helps us see how Form & Story can join forces through “collaborative conflict,” fraught with peril, to create a heart pounding work of art.
6. The respective avatars of the two armies lead the charge: the White Knight & Black Knight. Presiding over this high stakes chess game of Form & Story—the War of Art—stands the chess piece that blends the White Knight of Form (Aesthetics: Chess Moves) & the Black Knight of Story (Symbolics: Chess Meaning) into one knight: the Avatar of Art, who I dub the Silver Knight.
7. Visual Ef9ects springs from my talk by the same title that I gave in 2016 for the Symposium on Formalism at the Syracuse University School of Architecture Program in Florence. The book reflects my quest to create a Significant Architecture: an architecture of Form & Story that spins a creative tale of Beauty & Truth so well told that we feel an upwelling of Aesthetic & Symbolic Emotions. Overwhelmed with pleasure and blinded by insight, we find ourselves floored by the transforming power of art.
8. To illustrate my theme of Form & Story, I weave through the pages of this book my personal story of star-crossed love.
9. “A story,” says storytelling theorist Robert McKee, “is a creative demonstration of truth.” So is a building. In a building, everything must be formed, but a great building, like a great movie, presents more than Form, more than Visual Effects. A great building presents Visual Ef9ects. That “9” stands for Story. Truth. This book presents a manifesto. Build beautiful. Build the truth.
ARCHITECT, PAINTER, AND WRITER JEF7REY HILDNER launched The Architect Painter Press in 2005 under the banner, “Live Brave.” The Architect Painter Press presents Hildner’s buildings, paintings, and insights—work that reflects his focus on the visible and invisible architecture of life and art. The Architect Painter Press also seeks to present the work of other artists. Current titles range from Hildner's pamphlet, Picasso Lessons, to his books Daedalus 9, Garches 1234, Henry Trucks — Painter, Metaphysical Warrior, and Visual Ef9ects. His work also appears in a wide array of other venues—for example, Architectural Record, Journal of Architectural Education, ANY, Oz, The Christian Science Monitor, IMDb, and Global Architecture Houses. The book Architectural Formalism, by Hakan Anay, features Hildner’s essay “Formalism: Move | Meaning” alongside essays by theorists Rosalind Krauss, Peggy Deamer, Robert Slutzky, and Colin Rowe. Hildner received an Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture award for excellence in teaching. His project Dante | Telescope House won the New Jersey Chapter of The American Institute of Architects “Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence in Design.” Hildner also writes under the names Madison Gray and Eliot Plum. He paints under the name Henry Trucks. Hildner’s one-word life theme—architecture—shapes his quest, his outlook, and his output, including his work as screenwriter and story architect. He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Princeton University.
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